Aaaaaahhhhh! We’re here!! We made it! This week was our last session at Unity Technologies, and now all that’s left is the Showcase!! We brought in a bunch of trusted friends to help comment and critique constructively. Our incubees got some fresh eyes and new direction on their progress so far.
A big thank you to our playtesters from Week 6’s session!!
LEARNING THROUGH PLAYTESTING
We’ve talked about it a bunch during the incubator: PLAYTESTING! By now you should have a good grip about what it’s all about, but it’s still an ever-important part of the iterative process of game-making.
As there wasn’t a singular mentor today, we’re actually going to look at the experience of the session through the incubees themselves! We compiled a bunch of advice past and present incubees have gotten from playtesters that seemed the most useful to pass on. Here’s what they said:
- Make clear instructions at the very beginning. Even if the game seems intuitive to you (eg. controls, goals, ) it might not be to first-timers playing your game. Do something that conveys this well!
- Same goes for the difficulty level! As you develop your game, you actually become an expert at playing it as well, so you end up in a biased position. Maybe the game is actually too hard to pick up, or much more easy than you anticipated! Playtest with many different kind of people to figure out how to adjust your difficulty level accordingly.
- MORE FEEDBACK! Does your player have a good sense that they’re doing something in the game when they’re doing something? We write more about this below.
- Likewise, does the goal of your game feel satisfying? Playtesting will let you know if the player has enough incentive enough to go seek a win condition, if your game has one. If it doesn’t, then what are the motivating factors for continuing/discovering more within your game?
- Leave sound and art for the end. We’ve said this before, but in a pinch, they’re actually relatively easy to implement after you have all your base gameplay down! Shiny things are great and fun, but simple gameplay also goes a longer way than you might realize.
- It’s always fun for someone even if it’s small! Many participants came in not knowing if they had enough “game” to show, or felt like their projects were incomplete. You can still playtest though! Even just moving around on the screen makes players really happy, and seeing that joy might help you feel motivated. There’s still lots to learn even if it might not feel like there’s much on-screen. Having even the tiniest playtest might help you discover more dynamics you didn’t expect!
- If your game has a specific message you want to convey, be sure to double-check if that is resounding clearly to your players. Follow through with the statements you want to make — games can be art and connection just like any other media!
- Conversely, pointless games can be totally fun and also really cool! You did this for you, so you do you!
In your polish-adding frenzy of the next little while before the showcase, you might be wondering where to start. How do you make your game have a good “game feel”? The feedback that every game dev hears at a playtest: ADD MORE “FEEDBACK”!
There’s many great videos out there that explain how to achieve these effects through simple colours, animation, and sound. It doesn’t take much coding at all, usually (though you’re all experts by now, right?), and adds so much to the experience. Tweak your game into perfection!
JOIN US ON SATURDAYS AT RUBIKA!!
We encourage you to go online to discuss (and ask questions!!!) on our Facebook Groups or on our Slack channels, but there’s still no substitute for face-to-face interactions. Thus we encourage you to meet with us again to ask questions, playtest, bug-fix or just for tea and biscuits!
When: Saturdays from January 6 to February 17 février 2018, inclusively
Time: 14h to 17h
Where: Rubika Montréal, 5455, avenue de Gaspé, bureau 430 (station Laurier)
- Finish your game! You can continue to work on your game up until the night before the showcase but we’ll need an playable version BY 11:59pm ON FEBRUARY 14th to put together a gameplay video and promotional material. Send us a link or executable to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Following along? We’d love to see and play your game! Send us a playable link or executable BY 11:59pm ON FEBRUARY 14th, and your game just might be featured in our showcase! You can contact us by Twitter (@PixellesMtl), e-mail (email@example.com) We’d love to have you in the family!!
- IMPORTANT NOTE: The build that you submit to us is just for our own promotional needs, and to secure a spot in the Showcase. The game that you *bring* to the Showcase can be updated right up until the last second! So just submit if you’re almost there, it’s fine! Get that spot, and you’ll have a week still to put in those final touches.
- As we juuust keep on saying, we cordially invite you to come to our two last work sessions at Rubika up as well, in case you have any dangling, burning questions, or to playtest your game!!
Time to show off your games! Invite your friends and family to come out, play games, eat snacks, have a drink, and celebrate the future of game-making! RSVP to let us know you’re coming!
Wednesday, February 21st, 2018
From 6 pm to 9 pm
20 Queen Street, 3rd floor
Montréal, Québec (map)
(Square-Victoria metro station)
The venue is wheelchair-accessible, with escort. If you are in need of this service please get in touch with us in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All attendees must abide by our Safer Space Policy. The Showcase is a harassment-free space for everyone.